Today Mason explores Yang and Yin energy and how this is relevant for men and women...
Today I want to shine a bright light onto men's health. It so happens to coincide with Brovember (yes, that's November with a focus on our men folk, for all our community out there)! and whether you're a man or a woman, it's always an incredible opportunity to take a deep dive into the sexes and learn about the intricacies that will help your body and spirit thrive.
Now, this is super important: men are driven by Yang energy and that is why we focus on it as a foundation for men's health.
And although Yang energy is going to be the pillar of what will maintain our health as men, we also need to remember that there is Yin within the Yang and for men to completely flourish health-wise, you will need to also see the inclusion of Yin herbs, such as Reishi mushroom and Schizandra berry within the diet.
Along with Yin herbs, men also need a balance of Yin activities, we're talking:
- A very nourishing diet, with carefully prepared and wholesome food.
- We need nourishing self love practices, so that we are cultivating that Yin physical Essence that the Yang can express from.
Quite often men don't nourish through diet, rest and rejuvenation (not as well as our female counterparts). And this can lead to hot Yang energy, which can burn our nervous systems out. This can lead to premature aging, which we see in the form of premature balding, graying of the hair, lessening of the shoulder mass and development of a gut.
Men are also governed by Qi which is Yang, rather than women who are governed by Blood, which is Yin. So what does this mean?
Well generally, men are going to be governed by more of an outward active energy, that is easily rejuvenated (when compared to the more difficult to build and replace Blood that women are governed by).
But quite often what we'll see is men focus completely on Yang Jing herbs (like Cordyceps, Eucommia Bark and Deer Antler) and Yang practices such as long distance running, weight lifting, etc. And these herbs and practices can take men to an excessively testosterone-loaded state and can sometimes lead to some built up aggression (this is the excessive Yang expressing) and eventually, a burn out of Yang.
What men require as they're building a healthy lifestyle that revolves around Yang herbs and Yang practices is the constant inclusion of stillness, Yin and nourishing practices.
So what does this look like?
Firstly, it looks like practices to circulate energy - like the microcosmic orbit. Men will build up testosterone and Yang with all these herbs and may become aggressive or overly sexualised if they are not circulating that energy and are able to create flexibility through the spine so that they can turn that energy into creativity.
Secondly, let's talk stillness practices. Often, men need to understand that strength and flexibility are not completely different aspects of their physical practice, but they are one in the same - if they focus too heavily on strength and ignore functional flexibility, they will again lead too far into the superficial dominance of Qi in their body and that will take health and energy away from the joints by excessively placing energy within the muscular system.
Likewise, a meditative practice where men can sit and really perceive and feel what is emotionally occurring, what's happening physically / internally for themselves to feel their spiritual nature emerging from their heart, infusing that blood, infusing their tissue, so that they can transform that active Yang energy into wisdom.
The key is not just working on building strength and testosterone that eventually leads to you leaking your energy... that is a non-complete lifestyle, a non-complete health practice. And you know the more balanced way, you can you build strong Yang, you have a very nourishing diet and nourishing stillness practices that will feed into you building your Yin Essence and wisdom, which will then build into your ability for your body to maintain appropriate amounts of Yang energy.
So remember gents, you might be governed by Yang, but always balance it with Yin.